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Canon new FD 2.8/35 Review

Phillip Reeve

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The Canon new FD 2.8/35 is not a very fast lens but optically it is a surprisingly good lens with no real weaknesses. Only the build quality could be a bit better.










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Thanks for the nice article along with beautiful photographs.


Do you have any advice regarding Canon FD 20mm / f2.8 SSC and CZJ flektagon 35mm / f2.8?

I am quite interested in landscape photography and would like to choose between the two.

I plan to use them with my Sony A7II.


Appreciate any info. you can share on these two lenses. Thanks...

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Phillip, great review and some quality photography there.


One small nitpick in the review. You state that the lens is mostly metal. If I am not mistaken the FD lenses were indeed almost all metal but the FDn lenses were actually made out of a high quality polycarbonate, a fancy way to say plastic. It is very hard to discern, especially on the main lens barrel, but if you fingernail tap most of the parts you can tell they are plastic. This was where a lot of the weight gain was saved from FD to FDn. I know my FDn 50/1.4 is almost all plastic and other FDn lenses I have handled or owned have been this way.


I believe Canon was very self concious about moving to a more plastic system because they went to great pains to make the lenses seem as tho they were metal. The same can be seen on the Canon A-1, which many reviewers have stated as having a metal body. In fact, the A-1 is a wierd polycarb fiberglass mixture with an outer electro plating that mimics metal. This plating was designed to show thru as a metalic brass look when the paint was worn off. But I have owned an A-1 that had some damage from a fall and you could see under the thin electro plating was a polycarbonate base.


Like I said, a minor nitpick. I love old FD and FL lenses of all kinds and an FL 55/1.2 is now pretty much permanently attached to my camera. Thanks again for taking the time to do the review.

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f/otographer: the lens was of course not made of metal. Nor plastic. Canon lenses are made of glass. In an objective there are several lenses, not only one. You are presumabkly writing about the lens casing. b.t.w., Speaking about glass: Canon used to produce their own glass (they had a very nice little book about that) but that was a long time ago. Hoppefully they still do.

Kind regards, Freddy.

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Freddy, I dont know if you are being deliberatly obtuse, just trolling, or you honestly don't know this. So I will err on the side of human kindness here.


Go into any camera store anywhere in the world. Ask them to see a lens from any maker, doesnt matter. The saleperson will not dump a collection of individual glass lenses on the counter in front of you. Generally when a photographer is speaking of the individual glass pieces inside a lens, or objective, he or she will refer to them as the optical elements, or normally just the elements. This is generally accepted in the nomenclature to differentiate between the 'lens' as a unit of construction consisting of all relevant parts (body, mount, barrels, elements, screws, glue, etc) and the "lenses" of glass located inside. For instance, if my friend asks to borrow my Yashica ML Marco lens (which is a triplet) I am not going to say in return "Oh sure. Do you want the first lens, the second lens, or the third and forth lenses which are glued together as a doublet?" Instead I understand that he wants to borrow the lens.


So I will repeat my previous statement. Canon FDn lenses are comprised mostly of plastic, older FD lenses are mostly metal.

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